BART opens Clipper-only fare gates in Downtown Berkeley
Monday morning marks the newest milestone for one of the many projects designed to improve and modernize the Downtown Berkeley Station. Starting today, customers can now use the Clipper-only southern platform entrance near Allston Way East. This pilot program will gauge public interest in Clipper-only entrances at BART stations, and will provide an extra entrance for people heading into the station for better distribution of crowding.
Again, riders will only be able to enter the newly opened fare gates only with a Clipper card. Paper tickets cannot be used for entry through those gates. However, in order to help ease crowding on the station platform, both Clipper cards and paper tickets can be used to exit.
“It’s a transformative time for the Downtown Berkeley Station, with the plaza improvements already underway aboveground and station modernization efforts beginning below,” said BART Board President Rebecca Saltzman. “This Clipper-only entrance expands access to the station and is a step toward what the public can expect from a more modern BART, with more widespread use of Clipper cards.”
Additionally, BART is using the entrance re-opening to test design solutions for fare evasion, with taller barriers preventing would-be miscreants from hopping over the fence and a more open plan which increases security and safety of those traveling through the area.
Riders can still use paper tickets at all other fare gates.
The pilot comes as BART moves closer to selling Clipper cards in-station. Clipper is convenient and provides a huge public benefit by easing traffic in and out of BART stations. Clipper has become a popular option for BART riders, with more than 68% last month using them to complete their trips. In June, more than 220,000 BART passengers used Clipper cards at the Downtown Berkeley Station alone—which is slated to receive the first in-station Clipper vending machine this fall.
To purchase Clipper, riders should access clippercard.com to order a card by mail or search for convenient retail locations in which to purchase one. BART staff will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the first week after the entrance reopening to help educate riders about their Clipper card options.
The southern platform entrance has been closed to the public for many years. The renovated fare gates are being installed alongside a $7.6 million project approved by the BART Board which will bring a dramatic new look to the Downtown Berkeley Station. This work is a partnership between BART and the City of Berkeley. Improvements will include a modern main entrance enclosure, new furnishings, landscaping, paving, bus shelters, LED lighting and improved sightlines to enhance public safety.
Once the southern entrance near Allston Way West is open, the rotunda street-level entrance will be closed in order to continue with the Plaza Improvement Project. The rotunda entrance is expected to reopen in early 2018.